May 9, 2016 - The official opening of the Panama Canal is Sunday, June 26, 2016. There has been criticism for the 150 million over budget project but compared to the $5.25 billion USD original budget this is what most people would call a good outcome. The year and a half delay has also drawn criticism but labor problems and contract renegotiations are the root cause, not poor planning. Overall, people, companies and governments should be pleased.
One problem currently is that the water levels are low due to the El Nino weather impact causing low water levels in Gatun Lake. One could only hope that the weather will correct itself soon as it has in the past.
See the video above for the official Panama Canal news and below for the canal operations.
Transits Through Expanded Panama Canal
Panama Canal- Transit Passage
The Panama Canal Expansion project is building a new terminal port to service Panama, Central America, South America, the Caribbean basin and North America. The bidding process is in place. No timeline for the terminal project has been anounced yet.
The Suez Canal Expansion
May 9, 2016 - Egypt opened the new Suez Canal August 6, 2015. With the advent of cheap fuel for ships, a new and old phenomena has occured. Ships are using the old sailing route around Africa instead of the Suez Canal for the return trip. Shippers have to use the Suez Canal to make shipping schedules but have the option of added days to the return trip and saving the cost of the Suez Canal fees.
Proposed Route of the Nicaraguan Canal
May 9, 2016 - Still no word since the Nicaragau Grand Canal has come to a halt after private Chinese investment has faltered due to falling fortunes of the Chinese stock market. Instead, the government of Nicarugau is talking about other private investment through stock offerings. They are hoping to restart the support facilites construction in the fall of 2016.
It is anybodys guess whether there will be a canal built in Nicaragua or not.
Documentary for the Grand Canal of Nicaragua
W.R. Hodgens Marine Insurance provides this Canal Report. Use the Yacht Insurance Quote Form for the most competitive yacht insurance quotes for coverage of oceans, lakes and rivers including canals.